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Mikel Arteta hits back at criticism after he comes under fire

Arteta clashed with Newcastle manager Eddie Howe after referee Andrew Madley failed to award Arsenal an injury-time penalty.

File photo dated 03-01-2023 of Arsenal players surround referee Andrew Madley as they appeal for a hand ball. Arsenal have been charged with failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during their goalless Premier League draw with Newcastle on Tuesday. Issue date: Friday January 6, 2023.© PA

Sports deskPA Media

Mikel Arteta has defended his touchline behaviour in the wake of criticism he received following Arsenal’s goalless draw against Newcastle.

Arteta clashed with opposing manager Eddie Howe after referee Andrew Madley failed to award Arsenal an injury-time penalty at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night – a decision Arteta described as “scandalous”.

On Friday, the north London club were also charged by the Football Association for failing to control their players after a number of them surrounded Madley following the late flashpoint.

Alan Shearer described Arteta’s antics on the sidelines as “disrespectful”, while Chris Sutton, writing for the Daily Mail, said the Spaniard behaved like a “clown”.

“I am not part of that debate,” said Arteta on Saturday. “Of course, they can have their opinions.

“I try to do my best for this football club, to defend it, to promote it, and to play with the passion that the game has to be played in.

“Every game is special and every manager behaves very differently regarding the circumstances. And you can’t take the context out of a situation. That is not fair. That is me, here and on the pitch, for the good and the bad.”

Asked if he was prepared to change his behaviour, Arteta replied: “That is me and I will try all the time to be better and whatever I do, if it is tomorrow, the next day, or the next one, is to make the club stronger and my players better, to play better, and to win.

“But if I have to do something, I will do it, and if I have to change something, believe me I will look in the mirror myself and change it very quickly.”

After seeing Manchester City reduce the gap to his table-topping side to five points following their win at Chelsea, Arteta will switch his attention from the Premier League to the FA Cup ahead of Monday night’s trip to League One Oxford.

Arteta finished his first season in charge of Arsenal by winning the FA Cup before they suffered a shock third-round defeat at Nottingham Forest last season.

“It is a competition that is attached to the successful history of this club and on Monday we have a good test,” added Arteta.

“It will be difficult and we have to take the competition very seriously, the opponent very seriously and play well, to a high level, to win the match.

“Not many years ago we won it, but then we had the experience last year of going out of the competition so it is a competition we want to play in and compete.”


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